WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – The No. 20-ranked Indiana Tech men’s wrestling team had five individuals, Scottie Sopko, Vernon Willis, Jr., Kyle Kantola, Conner Gimson and Kolby Ferris, finish inside the top-four in the season opener Saturday at the Patriot Open, hosted by the University of the Cumberlands inside the O. Wayne Rollins Center.
Sopko and Willis (competing unattached), won the 141 and 285-pound titles, while Gimson took third and Kantola and Ferris finished fourth.
Four of Willis’ five wins came via pin, with his other victory coming as a medical forfeit to teammate Myles Ruffin in the semifinals, to pace the tournament with 24 team points. His fastest pin of the day came in the quarterfinals against Brewton-Parker’s Cameron Carr in 1:42 while he defeated 10th-ranked Ethan Bunce of Marian with a fall at 6:44.
Sopko also went 5-0, with all five of his matches going full time, with his second round match against Midway’s Frank Vidales earning bonus points with an 8-0 major decision. The 20th-ranked wrestlers at 174 pounds, he defeated 11th-ranked Jack Servies of Marian, 5-2, in the semifinals before knocking off Southeastern’s Coleman Bryant 3-1 in the championship bout.
Kantola went 5-2 at 133 pounds and picked up two pins and a major. He moved into the consolation semifinals with an 8-5 win over seventh-ranked Olson Delisca of Southeastern and used a 60-second pin to advance to the third-place match over Lindey Wilson’s Sam Bacon.
Gimson had a pair of falls on the day in the 141-pound bracket while going 5-1, his lone defeat coming to seventh-ranked Brandon James of Marian in the semifinals. He would rebound with a 4-0 win and 6-5 victory to secure third place.
Ferris went 4-2 at 174 pounds with a win over seventh-ranked Sam Osho of Marian in the quarterfinals by a 7-6 decision before falling in the semifinals to Bryant of Southeastern, 7-4.
Rahman Johnson had the most falls, four, in the least amount of time, 5:07, to lead the tournament while Sam York had two tech falls and five pins to top the standings. Tech had a tournament-high 24 pins in 70:37 and 601 match points.
Tech returns to action at 9 a.m. Nov. 16 as they split up for the Trine and Findlay Opens from the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Athletic and Recreation Center and Ralph and Gladys Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex in Angola and Findlay, Ohio.